Lost in America
A Dead-End Journey
By Colby Buzzell
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780061841354, 304pp.)
Publication Date: August 2011
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Colby Buzzell has always been a loner. An autodidact who never went to college, he was dubbed the voice of a generation by Robert Kurson for his daring and critically acclaimed book, My War: Killing Time in Iraq. Half a decade later, overwhelmed by the birth of his son and the death of his mother, Buzzell finds himself rudderless. Desperate to escape the constraints of his postwar existence, he packs his things, gets in the car, and, for five months, drives across Americano map, no destination.
In his 1965 Mercury Comet, Buzzell travels through the bowels of a country steeped in economic turmoil and political malaise. With a bottle of whisky in one hand and a pack of cigarettes in the other, he takes us on a tour of big-box stores, grimy gas stations, abandoned warehouses, strip clubs, and flophouses. He captures the distinct voices and vivid stories of a forgotten AmericaCheyenne, Omaha, Salt Lake City, Des Moines, Detroit, and San Franciscos Tenderloin. Buzzell unearths Americas bones in all their beauty and starkness. And like the veterans of Hemingways Lost Generation, he struggles to reconcile his wanderlust with his responsibilities as a man and a father.
Lost in America is a stunning account of the ravages of war on one individual. It also reveals deep truths about a more universal journey: the struggle to find our place in the worldwithout a map.
“A witty, fearless, sharp-eyed chronicler of America in decline. Buzzell exhibits a Henry Miller-like talent for the memorable character sketch.”
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For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org